Here at TDG we like to tackle the big questions. Things like "what's your favorite food at TCF Bank Stadium?" or "which stinky evil rival fanbase is worse?" It's in that spirit that the TDG staff convened a summit to discuss a very important topic:
What schools should Minnesota sign non-conference home/home agreements with for football?
8 of the greatest Gopher minds scored the internet for capital T truth and a created what we feel like is a definitive list of future non-con opponents. We expect that once he's read it, Norwood Teague will immediately get on the phone and get these teams scheduled by next Monday. Tuesday at the very latest.
Here's our decision process:
- Each staff member listed their preferences in order 1-5 (except Elliot who had to be special and name 2 honorable mention candidates and GN who stopped at 3 because of course he did).
- Each vote was assigned a point value. First place was worth 5, second place 4, and so on. Honorable mentions were awarded .5 points each.
- The point totals were added together and a definitive Top 5 Non-Con Opponents list was created. Everyone else was named to the Honorable Mention team because we thought it would make Elliot happy.
See? There isn't a more scientific approach out there. Clearly this list is infallible. So without further delay, here is TDG's list of Must Play non-conference football opponents for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. I'm including select quotes from our staff to explain the selections.
(19 pts; 3 first place)
Location: Seattle, WA
All time record vs. Washington: 10-7
HipsterGopher: Gophers have actually played the Huskies 17 times, but none since 1957.
GoAUpher: Loved the look and feel of the old stadium (though I'd never been there) and I want to see the renovated version. Seattle is an awesome town to visit, plus my brother lives there so the lodging is free.
gopherguy05: Sailgating for the win!
(15 pts; 1 first place)
Location: Oxford, MS
All time record vs. Ole Miss: 1-0
GoAUpher: The Grove, duh. Why wouldn't we want to play a team with a tailgate scene that cannot be replicated (and perhaps even topped) by any other school? THESE PEOPLE WILL INVITE YOU INTO TAILGATES WHERE THERE ARE CHANDELIERS HANGING IN TAILGATE TENTS AND WHERE THE BOURBON FLOWS LIKE WATER. What's not to like?
Elliot: I favored this idea even more when they weren't as prominent of a team, but who wouldn't want to see the Gophs at the Grove? Also, one of my best friends married an Ole Miss girl, so it would be really fun to go with them to a game.
GopherNation: I will get on board this idea, one of the places I'd most like to visit.
gopherguy05: The Grove + a female student population that believes in sun dresses.
3) UCLA Bruins
Location: Los Angeles, CA
All time record vs. UCLA: 2-1
What's interesting about this selection is that it made enough ballots (3) and was listed high enough on those ballots that it grabbed the #3 spot without a first place vote. That said, no one had any strong feelings about why they voted for UCLA. GN mentioned "Rose Bowl" and that was it for comments. Personally, that is exactly why UCLA was NOT on my list at all. I don't want to watch Minnesota play in the Rose Bowl until it is playing in the Rose Bowl Game. I have been overruled my TDG brethren however.
4) Notre Dame
(9 pts; 1 first place)
Location: South Bend, IN
All time record vs. Notre Dame: 0-4-1
HipsterGopher: Everyone hates the Irish, and Minnesota has never beaten Notre Dame (0-4-1).
Elliot: The Irish should have joined the Big Ten anyway, I'd like to see the Gophers cause some Irish Tears. Or at least have a primetime NBC game.
(8 pts; 1 first place)
Location: Eugene, OR
All time record vs. Oregon: 3-1
GoAUpher: I really want to see Autzen and the crazy Nike funded facilities.
Elliot: I liked the idea of a scheduling partnership with the Pac 12. At the top of the list there, I'd love to see the Gophers go to the Autzen Zoo.
Honorable Mention (aka everyone else who got a vote)
Texas: 7.5 points
Alabama: 6 points - 1 first place vote
Georgia: 5 points - 1 first place vote
Pittsburgh: 4 points
Auburn: 4 points
Arizona State: 4 points
Miami (FL): 3 points
Iowa State: 3 points
Stanford: 3 points
Kansas State: 3 points
Oklahoma: 2 points
Arizona: 2 points
LSU: 2 points
Colorado: 2 points
Tennessee: 1 point
Boise State: 1 point
Virginia: 1 point
Florida: 1 point
Virginia Tech: 1 point
Georgia Tech: 1 point
West Virginia: 0.5 points